Technical Programs and Research

SFC programs include core programming in areas such as stock assessment and watershed monitoring, as well as individual projects in specific response to requests and needs of the Member Nations and other Nations throughout BC.

As SFC is not a rights-holder, nor a member of leadership, we do not make decisions for the Nations. Our function is to support and empower Nation leadership to make decisions by providing them with the best possible understanding of current fisheries and aquatic health technical status, and reviews of project risks and uncertainties to inform their decisions.

Stock Assessment

We provide stock assessment technical support to Nations. This work includes developing and implementing methods to count fish and better estimate populations within the Skeena and Nass, as well as other fisheries throughout BC and Canada. Core programming includes the implementation of hydroacoustic surveys to assess fish densities (e.g., juvenile sockeye salmon) in lakes.

Photo: Bear River fish fence

Environmental Assessment

The Skeena and Nass watersheds have been the sites of numerous proposals for large industrial projects, including pipelines, LNG facilities, metal mines, and coal mines. Each of these projects requires permitting and certification, often through an Environmental or Impact Assessment. 

SFC provides technical support to Nations to assist them in taking part in these processes. Our technical staff review proposals, engage in Working Group or other technical meetings, and provide guidance on potential project impacts and mitigations to leadership and communities as needed. We also may engage directly with regulators or proponents, bringing the Nations’ insights, concerns, or recommendations to those tables.

Photo: Winter water sampling at Cutthroat Creek

Aquatic Ecosystem Research

Protection of fishing rights inherently requires providing and maintaining healthy habitat for fish. SFC provides technical support and leads programming focused on research and monitoring of aquatic habitat. This work spans a broad range of activities, from development and implementation of field-based research programs such as limnology and climate change monitoring, to desktop analysis and exercises focused on evaluating water monitoring programs and water rights. 

Photo: Retired head scientist Dr. Allen Gottesfeld